Brain/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about Brain.
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Suggests a framework for the study of the brain in model organisms at a mesoscopic scale, i.e. at length scales between the microscopic (≤ 100μm) and macroscopic (≥ several mm) levels. Based on the experience with the impact of wide-spread data sharing in other scientific disciplines (e.g. genomics), the criteria for a centralized knowledge repository on mesoscopic aspects of the brain in the rat, the macaque and humans are laid out.
A brief and balanced overview over the genetic mechanisms currently deemed relevant for the evolution of the human brain, along with pointers to some related methodological issues.
Provides a brief description of The Allen Brain Atlas of the adult mouse brain (strain C57BL/6J) - "a genome-scale collection of cellular resolution gene expression profiles using in situ hybridization" of over 20,000 genes (i.e. most mouse genes then known to encode proteins). Also reports that "approximately 80% of total genes assayed display some cellular expression above background in the brain."
Abstract:
Deciphering the secret of successful aging depends on understanding the patterns and biological underpinnings of cognitive and behavioral changes throughout adulthood. That task is inseparable from comprehending the workings of the brain, the physical substrate of behavior. In this review, we summarize the extant literature on age-related differences and changes in brain structure, including postmortem and noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies. Among the latter, we survey the evidence from volumetry, diffusion-tensor imaging, and evaluations of white matter hyperintensities (WMH). Further, we review the attempts to elucidate the mechanisms of age-related structural changes by measuring metabolic markers of aging through magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). We discuss the putative links between the pattern of brain aging and the pattern of cognitive decline and stability. We then present examples of activities and conditions (hypertension, hormone deficiency, aerobic fitness) that may influence the course of normal aging in a positive or negative fashion. Lastly, we speculate on several proposed mechanisms of differential brain aging, including neurotransmitter systems, stress and corticosteroids, microvascular changes, calcium homeostasis, and demyelination.
Provides an overview over histological findings on the number of neurons and glia cells in the human neocortex and how they relate to age and gender.
Proposed that the energetic costs of the resting metabolism of different organs within the body have to be balanced. Specifically, such a trade-off is hypothesized to have governed the increasing brain size during primate and human evolution, in concert with a decrease in the amount of digestive tissue. For a critique, see Hladik et al. (1999).